Monday, February 16, 2009

Woman Does Not Live By Bread Alone

Wheat Bread Loaf #2

...but baking my own bread is very satisfying.

I have made two sandwich loaves of wheat bread in my recent baking flurry. Both of them were made with a combination of White Whole Wheat and All Purpose flours. They came out reasonably well, with good taste and texture and color, but not quite as tall and fluffy as I would like. The white whole wheat flour produces a nice & soft, lighter tan colored loaf. I think I need to either use more yeast or let it rise longer to get the lift I desire in my bread. Or maybe do both.

Baking and cooking is good creative expression for me. It allows me the freedom to design what I want and to make it my own way. Gives me freedom and also some control. I say some control, because my creations don't always turn out exactly the way I want them to. Actually, that's sort of the fun part. A little adventure and surprise in the kitchen. Safe adventure. Just my speed.

I started this recent bread baking because I became aware that I was spending almost $5 per 1 1/2 lb loaf of store bought bread. So I decided that making my own bread would save me some money. It does that. Now I am not sure I can go back to eating store bought bread again. I really like the way my homemade bread tastes. It is so much fresher tasting that store bought. Even when my wheat loaves don't rise as tall as I would like.

It makes great sandwiches and toast.

Slices of homemade Wheat Bread

Hopefully, I will find the time to bake some more soon. I do enjoy it.

© Copyright 2009 Mountain Harvest Basket


Lulu Barbarian said...

Good job! Have you tried gluten to lighten up your whole grain breads?

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Lulu,
Yes, I did add some gluten to these loaves. I also add gluten to my white bread loaves if I don't have any bread flour handy. Perhaps I should add a little more.

Hardware Bob said...

I believe your bread factory definitely needs to increase it's production.

Two beautiful loaves of whole wheat bread, lots of talk about how delicious homemade bread is, and I don't recall any sharing going on.

I am glad you're having fun, a good diversion from life's stressors.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Bob,
I think I did share a couple of pieces of these wheat breads....with Jack. Sorry, you didn't get any of these two loaves. There will be more in the future.

While baking is fun and a nice diversion from other things, I actually haven't baked at all for the past two weeks as I have been too preoccupied with stressful paperwork, meetings and communications. These two loaves were baked, photographed and eaten several weeks ago. I do hope to get back to my fun soon though. Thanks for praising my work.

frugalmom said...

I love to bake and cook as well. And I agree. It is a great way to be creative. There are so many variations that you can come up with. And the end result may just be a surprise!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

It's a shame that many farmers are forgoing growing wheat over growing corn now, though. They get more money for corn because of bio-diesel companies. And now the price of wheat is going up higher and higher. It used to be I could buy a 5lb bag of fresh wheat flour for under $3.00, now it's anywhere between $3.00-$6.00 for the same bag.
And I have no idea why the cost of yeast has gone up, though.
So far it's still cheaper to bake our own bread and I hope it stays that way.

Your bread is just lovely.


Lulu said...

This new* white whole wheat flour is just amazing. I'm still experimenting with it myself.

*new to me, anyway

Knit Witch said...

Yum!!! We have become quite fond of baking our own bread also - in a bread maker of course though!! I have found that the addition of wheat flour definitely decreases the rise so I tend to not use it even though I prefer it. More yeast might work though - I'll have to give that a try!

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Marcee,
I enjoy cooking and baking and am itching to get back to it. Too many other chores keeping me from it lately!

Hi Lisa,
Thank you for the bread compliments. I knew about the corn production and prices, but I was not aware that US farmers were reducing their wheat crops. That's not good.

Hi KnitWitch,
I have been using the White Whole Wheat flour from King Arthur mixed with all purpose flour for my wheat breads. It seems to make a lighter loaf than stone ground whole wheat does. They use a different kind of wheat for that flour I think. Homemade is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

I've been using the technique in the book "Artisan Baking in Five Minutes a Day": you make 4 loaves' worth of their wet dough at once, let it do an initial rise, and then it lives in the fridge bubbling away for up to 2 weeks until you decide to bake it as needed. Much easier for a busy person, and the bread tastes great.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Anon,
Yes, I have that book also and have started exploring their methods. So far I have baked one beautiful artisan loaf. Been too busy to post about it yet though.